Saturday, 30 January 2010

More Stars.

I had a long but good shift at work today. When I finished at three Tony and DS Joe collected me and we went to see my Bro. Poor Tony has had to wait nearly a month for his birthday gift, it got held up over Christmas, then held up again by the snow. But finally it has arrived. Something almost every man would give his left arm for. A beer fridge! Well most blokes need their right arm to hold their pint. LOL It's not technically a beer fridge as it has The Magners Cider logo painted on it. I bought the fridge and my big bro stocked it for him, though he did point out that it is a one time only deal.
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After a hurried shopping trip, Tony got it set up while I made a quick tea, then I was able to get back to my scraps box. Here we have the next round of pieces to make Sixteen more scrappy stars.
I'll get them made, then delve in the box again and come up with another lot. These blocks are working out at eight inches finished size, so if you didn't guess already, I'm going for a BIG quilt here. (Lets see the snoring bed hog steal all of this one.) The scraps box is now devoid of fabrics suitable for use as the back grounds though, I had to dip in to my real stash for that this evening. Maybe that's not such a bad thing! I'm off to sew for a half hour, before I go to bed.
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Take care

Somebody stop me!

I had another great day off yesterday. I got loads done. I did 90 mins on the Wii, then while I was cooling down I tackled that pile of shirts. I got all this.....
and this!
Out of these shirts. There were only six of them, it seemed like so many more when I was pulling them out trying to find my toy stuffing. LOL I know some people like to keep the cuffs and collars for projects, I don't, they are gone.
All that and two loads of laundry was done before lunch time. I was having so much fun I got stuck into my scraps box, where I found a bunch of charm squares which had been put together in giant nine patches at one time, but had been unstitched and tossed in. Perfect. Along with some shirt pieces they made 128 flying Geese units.
Which added to more charms made 32 Eight Pointed Stars.
I finally called it quits at 10 o'clock last night, I snuggled up in bed full of plans for making more stars and trying to decide how to sash them and what colour corner stones to use. So I didn't sleep too well last night and awoke early this morning.
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I do believe that yesterday I managed to put more into the scraps box than I removed! But while I was poking about looking for ideas, I did come across another scrappy quilt that I like, so just maybe I'll manage to make an impression before too much longer.
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Back to work today.
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Take care.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Bits and Bobs.

Last summer when I met up with Janice she gifted to me a very pretty little stitching companion. Well you know me, I had to have a go! My own design efforts went into the bin! But eventually I found a tutorial and hey ho! We have success.
Not quite as pretty as the one Janice gave to me, but I love it and have plans to gift it to my penpal Maxine. She's been in a year long sewing slump. :-( I'm hoping than an influx of little goodies from me will help to pick her up a little.
I'll have a look about later and see if I have any small patterns or quick projects that might get her going again, and I'll pop them in the mail with this.
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This project however is for Mum, she loves Dolphins, so when a dolphin turned up in Australian Homespun recently I knew I had to have a go. Meet Desmond the Dolphin.
I'm not so sure about those eyes! LOL But I'm never happy with stitched and sewn faces!I did have fun making him, but won't be rushing to repeat the experience.
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I have another day off work, this means of course that I have to work the weekend, but hey, I get a whole day off with no one home under my feet, I can potter about and do as I please when I please! First on the agenda, (after blogging!) is to get on the Wii, secondly I have a stack of old shirts awaiting the scissors. I've been collecting them for a while and hadn't realised how big the pile had got, until I had to dig under it for the toy filling! Looks like my scraps box is about to get a big boost. Speaking of my scraps box, I had a plan in mind to make an Irish Chain quilt, all out of scraps, with a little help from some white yardage. So while shopping for that, the plan morphed into forget the scraps, just use a couple of jelly rolls! So they are on the way! I really will have get firm with myself and do something with my scrap collection. Speaking of shopping, I finally tracked down a Mill House Inn fat quarter collection, it's on it's way! Yippie! Still with shopping! About an acre of Dream Green batting turned up the other day, so I could get on with layering and quilting some of these stalled projects that are lying about the place. So much to be getting on with, what's a girl to do? I'll have another cuppa first I think! While I plan a couple more Pot holders.
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Have Fun.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

A productive Day off

I had a day off work yesterday, so as well as hopping about with the Wii, I got stuck in and got some sewing done. If you remember I had this piece prepped and ready to go. All the applique pieces were cut and the flower was fused into place.
Everything else was done yesterday. I used my machine to applique the pieces into place, I just did a couple of rounds of straight stitch on all the pieces and I'm happy with that, it looks fine to me. I did however get the Chook back to front! and I forgot to stitch her legs. I'll do that this evening. The batting is made up from a couple of scraps which I sewed together. I did hope to hang it in my kitchen, but it's larger than I anticipated, or the space is smaller than I thought, either way it won't go where I planned, so I'm working on that one.
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I've mailed my share of the Potholder Pass and as I mentioned before, I've been making more.
These ones I've kept for myself.
The square ones are all crammed into a dark envelope and making their way to their new home.
I tucked a little extra in there too.
Just a little matching something.
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Well that's me, I'm off to work. It's office day today, maybe I'll have time to get up to Joans craft shop and see if she has any goodies. Hopefully my next day off will be productive too.
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Take care

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Still Here.

I'm still here honest, I've been busy, busy, busy. With all the wrong things! Lots of work and life not to mention lots of exercise. But I'm still the same size. :-(.
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My Australian Homespun and Patchwork and quilting year books finally arrived yesterday. I do wish they were not so slow but, I love getting them. As always there were a few patterns and ideas that had me going back for a second look..
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Remember my Native Species of NZ quilt? It's been lying asleep on a chair back since before Christmas. I did want to get it finished before our party. No such luck. I think I'll quilt in the ditch around those borders and right around the edge. I'd like to quilt in those little black outlines around the individual elements.
I could do that with my machine, but I've also been thinking about doing that part by hand. So, some advice please. What's the best kind of thread, needle etc? And, with or without a hoop? The batting inside is 100% Cotton warm and natural, if that matters.
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I finally got around to ordering some more batting, which should be here soon. Maybe the ability to get something else finished will spur me on a bit. I've also done a little more of the Verandah Views stitchery, I'm working away slowly at that one. I enjoyed playing about making the pot holders, so much so that I've been playing about making more. I have a colleague who is hoping to move house very soon, I see a pot holder in her future! LOL
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Take care.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Some Stitchery

After yesterdays day off was wasted with sleep and work! Today's was much more productive and satisfying. I completed two of the country calender blocks after finishing the one I started yesterday.
The fabrics I've used with these blocks are from a jelly roll called Wild Flower Serenade II.
I think I'll be using more of it to sash and border the blocks before quilting. I think I see a tall thin 2 x 6 layout, but that's subject to change! LOL Watch this space.
I'll also definitely be using more of the jelly roll to make the backing and binding, who knows, I may even get fancy!
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Before I got on with that I set about this morning making a couple of pot holders. I joined in with the Pot Holder Pass held by Amy.
I surfed into her blog from somewhere and liked the idea. The swap is now closed and we all have our partners and know their likes and dislikes. There is a flickr group here. I stuck to my partners preferences, to the letter. They are very precise, so no pictures just yet. I'll show and tell when the pot holders arrive at their new home. I have to say, I've never made a pot holder before, but figured they couldn't be too much different to making my place mats, so I just got on with it and made some smaller versions of those. 7.5 x 7.5 with a hanger tab! As well as having fun as a part of the swap, I've also got some new ideas for more pot holders and place mats etc.
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Life with a Wii is fun and seems to be going well, I've dropped a few CM from my waist, though the scales still Yo yo up and down. Today was down! -3lb. :-) If it would just keep on going that way I would be happier.
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I'm off to stitch a little on one of the Verandah Views blocks. I have another jelly roll in store for that BOM!
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Take care......

Monday, 18 January 2010

More goodies arrived in the mail.

I was beginning to think I was having a love affair with Fig Tree Quilts. But that can't be right! I'm not a fan of the latest range, 'Whimsey'. I am however completely in love with just about everything else they have produced. So much sew, (Pun intended) that I've been shopping around trying to buy pieces from old collections. These six half meter pieces are from the Folklorique collection, and if I find more I'll be buying it! Especially at sale prices!
I was bitterly disappointed to find that I had missed out on buying the whole fat quarter collection of Mill House Inn, from my usual source and had to settle for this Jelly Roll and a layer cake from alternative sources.
I'm already on the list to be notified when the new fabric range 'Fresh Cottons' becomes available, I want to be sure I don't miss out on that.
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Do you think I'm becoming obsessive?
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All of that aside, there were two huge holes in my day off today, I had one of those crappy nights and only managed to get to sleep for more than a thirty minute stretch after 6.30am, so didn't get up until after 10! Then this afternoon I had to attend a staff meeting at work. I was too lethargic to play on Wii, and I spent what was left of the morning procrastinating, then I spent a little time sewing, before heading into work. Evidence of that may appear tomorrow! Having indulged in red meat and red wine for dinner I don't think I'll be sewing this evening!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Dabbling

I have various things happening at the moment, last night for no particular reason I found myself putting together my Christmas Wishes blocks, goodness knows why, I have no batting and no idea what I'll back or bind them with! LOL Then when that ground to a halt I pulled out a kit I bought in Birmingham and set about making the fusible applique pieces, it's now sat by the sewing machine awaiting my attention and just the right thread, which of course I couldn't find last night. I have the remaining three blocks for Verandah Views all prepped and traced, just waiting to be stitched, but Country Calender is the one I keep picking up.
Two more months have been completed, in between my other fiddling, only two remain to be stitched, then I'll have to figure out what to do with all the pieces. One big piece? 6 double sided pieces? 12 small pieces? Keep it? Donate it? Gift it? I'll have to think about that.
I've heard my cross stitch whispering to me of late too. (Scroll down a bit.) I don't think I've touched that in about a year! I've had this idea about pulling it off the big frame and popping it into a hoop, then of an evening I can sit and work a little on that. (Is this before, during or after all the other hand sewing I keep promising myself I'll find time for?) My scraps box is calling to me and dropping all manner of ideas into my dreams and there are many magazines on the shelf each with a particular 'must do' design of their own. There are all manner of BOM and other new free designs popping up all over blogland, so I've plenty to keep me busy, and there's no telling what will pop up here next!
I'm off to play.
Take care.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Wii Mii

I thought you might like to see what is taking up some of my sewing time. This is our Wii Mii characters.
We not only have Wii fit, we also have Wii Sports Resort. Here I am beating Tony and 10 pin bowling.
For those who don't know, you get to make yourself a little character who performs your actions on the TV screen. So there you have it, as well as about an hour a day of exercises I'm also playing games! It's almost as good as curling up under a quilt to sew when it comes to keeping warm.
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Warm is still a good place to be, the temps here have crept up again, but it's still only 3 degrees and now we have incessant rain. Did I tell you how much I hate rain?
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Take care

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Shiverrrrrrrrr

It's still icy cold here. Although it rained the last two days, we're back to sleet and snow now. I must say I really do prefer this cold stuff to the awful warm wet winters we've been having in recent years. I can't abide the rain, I hate arriving at home or worse still at work all soaking wet and cold. Snow is much more civilised. It melts and is gone.
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I had an unexpected day off work yesterday, an upset tummy brought me home early on Monday and it continued into Tuesday. I've been in to work today though and had a boring bus ride home, the windows on the bus were so dirty I couldn't see a thing through them! The higher places on the route have turned white again and I did manage to see some cars pretty well covered too.
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I didn't feel up to doing much with my day off, I slept for some of it, but later on I got my needle out and stitched up another part of the Country Calendar.
And made a start on another one. I also cut the back ground and traced the last parts of Verandah Views, ready to be stitched as I snuggle up under my quilts in the evenings.
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When I got in from work today there was a package waiting for me, treasure. :-)
A couple of weeks ago I ordered some goodies and they were a lovely welcome home. A Mill house inn layer cake and a few yards of some lovely buttery polka dots. There should be a jelly roll along any time soon also. I may use some of this for finishing Verandah Views, what do you think?
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Well that's my news, I'm off to hop about on the Wii for a while then do some sewing while I await my husband, he says he'll be late in this evening.
Take care.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Still Freezing.

Although the rain has arrived here on the island and it has melted most of the low lying snow, (There is still plenty on high ground), it's still freezing. My big front room, where my sewing machine lives is perishingly cold, and my habit of sewing barefoot makes matters worse, so that means that not a great deal has been happening in there. This morning though the urge to do something won out and I got busy.
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First I cut backgrounds, then retreated to the warmth of the sitting room to trace patterns.
Then I cut borders and stitched on tops and bottoms, then retreated to the sitting room to press them.
And finally I sewed on side panels, before one final retreat to the sitting room to press again,
and sort out threads, so that I can spend some time curled up on the sofa stitching the second half of Elle's Country Calender.
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Don't expect instant results, I have lots of late shifts this week.
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Keep warm, cool, dry........what ever you want to be!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

CLOSED!!

The Isle of Man ground to a halt in the early hours of the morning today. Two of the three main routes were closed by a heavy fall of snow and the one remaining road is now partially blocked by abandoned vehicles! The only people who made it to work are those who were close enough and brave enough to walk in.
So my Hunney is sat here with me on his birthday,
But I have to go in to work in about an hour! :-(
The police are advising people to stay at home if possible,
All the schools are closed and there is more on the way. Just looking in at the news on the Beeb, we got it quite lightly!! Even Africa is shivering!
I hope you're all warm and dry.
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I managed to get in an hour of stitching last night, I've now completed all of Gail Pans Christmas Wishes. :-) I had planned to get them made into a top today, but having Tony home put a spanner in that idea. I also plan to get another of last years Block a Month projects out and try to complete it before January is ended! Oh! And I need to go shopping for some batting.
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Gratitude's
1) It's not raining.
2) The heating works
3) Extra time with my Husband.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Happy New Year.

Better late than not at all. You'll forgive me for not popping in yesterday, but I only woke up in time to get a shower and food before I started my shift at work! The party was that good and we were that late getting home.
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I have no stitchy pictures to show, not much stitching been going on here to be honest. I've been busy on the Wii, trying not to overdo it, but also trying to learn new exercises and routines. I have to say it's good fun, much better that paddling about on the rowing machine. It's taking me about 90 mins to get in 60 mins of exercise because of all the swapping about, but I'l get used to it. Tony and Joe are having fun too, with the Fit program and the games.
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I can't have a post without images, so due to requests, I'll put up some more images from our trip to NZ. This is the bottom end of a glacier, we passed a few small areas of glacier on our way through to Milford Sound.
On the road from Gore to Te Anau we spotted this Hobbit hole! That was a bit of fun we didn't expect.
There were some amazing sights as we drove along the Southern Scenic Route.
We went through some ancient looking and feeling forest as well as seeing these beautiful coastal views.
And of course as well as beautiful places, there are some beautiful people. I love them all.
Even the ones who pull faces. ((Hugs to Laura, Katherine, Ashley, Courtney, Alex and Brooke))
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I hope you enjoyed having another look at our trip to NZ, I'll try to find time for my needles soon I promise.

Take care